Walz Extends Minnesota’s Coronavirus State of Emergency
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday won legislative approval to extend Minnesota’s peacetime state of emergency by another 30 days so he can continue to use executive orders to direct the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
With the Legislature in session through mid-May, the governor no longer needs to call special sessions to give lawmakers a chance to rescind his decision each time he extends the peacetime emergency. He called seven special sessions last year.
Walz noted at a brief meeting of the Executive Council which ratified his decision on a 5-0 vote, that Tuesday was the deadliest day of the pandemic nationwide.
“We in Minnesota are in a slightly better position, but as a nation we are in the grips of the worst public health pandemic that our nation has ever seen, and it is not abating at this time,” he said.
Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told the council that the governor’s prior executive orders helped the state get through a surge in November and December. The state is in a better place now, she said, “but still in a high risk place for future spread.”